Sunday, July 10, 2011

Grilled Peppers and Sausage with Cheese Grits

The smell of sausages, onions, and peppers grilling over coals is hard to resist.

Whether at a festival or in your own back yard, the aroma created by the roasting veggies and the rendered fat dripping onto the sizzling red hot coals below is captivating. So when I saw this recipe in the July issue of Southern Living I knew I had to try it. 

grilled peppers sausage and cheese grits
Grilled Peppers and Sausage with Cheese Grits
I'm not going to post my adaptation of the recipe because the only things I did different were
  1. Used a blend of green bell pepper and red ancient sweet peppers
  2. Used mild Italian sausage instead of “garlic pork sausage” but I added some grilled garlic

It was sooooo hot and humid out when I started grilling at noon....
[Audience: “How hot was it?”]
….that even the vegetables were sweating!

I started my coal and got my Big Green Egg going at 400f. While the grill came to temp, I cut the veggies and tossed them in the oil and herbs.
I ended up adding more thyme than the 1 tsp the recipe indicated.
I leave them veggie pieces in big 2” sizes like this to make them easier to handle on the grill. Less pieces to flip and less likely to fall through the grill grates. I cut them in half diagonally after they cook.
grilled peppers sausage and cheese grits

I also butterfly the sausages lengthwise so they cook more evenly all the way through. I find at 400f, 8 minutes total time is perfect. I flip every two minutes during that time. 

grilled peppers sausage and cheese grits

When they are finished grilling, it's hard not to just skip everything else and just eat these on hoagie rolls!
grilled peppers sausage and cheese grits

Served over the basil cheese grits...

grilled peppers sausage and cheese grits

The dish was “pretty good”. There was nothing wrong with it, it just wasn't WOW.  I mean how can you go wrong with sausage peppers and onions? Well, I guess you could go wrong by using quick cooking grits like the recipe called for.  

Damn! If quick cooking grits are what you “Ewww I hate grits” people tried, I don't blame you. I'd hate them too! I know Southern Living was including this under Quick Fix Suppers but this would be so much better using proper stone ground grits. The grits portion of this dish was underwhelming.

I'd also like some type of sauce to marry the sausage and peppers to the grits. I'm spoiled by Puleo's Grille and their Shrimp and Grits which is similar to this dish, except they add shrimp, real grits, and a tasso gravy that is so addicting that it should be classified as a narcotic. Or maybe just tossing the grilled ingredients with a creole butter at the end would have pulled the two components together better.

Anyway, like I said, not a bad recipe. But when I make it again, I'll make those two changes.